Sanctorum meritis (Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina)

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  • (Posted 2017-12-05)   CPDL #47899:     
Editor: Simon Biazeck (submitted 2017-12-05).   Score information: A4, 13 pages, 264 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Sanctorum meritis
Composer: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Lyricist: Anonymous , although it is often attributed to Rabanus Maurus.

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredOffice hymn

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1589 in Hymni totius anni, no. 106

Description: 'Alternatim' setting of the hymn at First and Second Vespers in the Common of many Martyrs (communi Plurimorum Martyrum).

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Sanctorum meritis inclyta gaudia
Pangamus, socii, gestaque fortia:
Gliscens fert animus promere cantibus
Victorum genus optimum.

Hi sunt quos fatue mundus abhorruit:
Hunc fructu vacuum, floribus aridum,
Contempsere tui nominis asseclae,
Iesu Rex bone caelitum.

Hi pro te furias atque minas truces
Calcarunt hominum, saevaque verbera:
His cessit lacerans fortiter ungula,
Nec carpsit penetralia.

Caeduntur gladiis more bidentium:
Non murmur resonat, non querimonia:
Sed corde impavido mens bene conscia
Conservat patientiam.

Quae vox, quae poterit lingua retexere
Quae tu Martyribus munera praeparas?
Rubri nam fluido sanguine fulgidis
Ditantur bene laureis.

Te, summa Deitas unaque, poscimus,
Ut culpas abigas, noxia subtrahas:
Des pacem famulis ut tibi gloriam
Annorum in seriem canant.


English.png English translation

Let us record the celebrated joys of the saints along with
Their rewards, my comrades, and also their brave achievements.
As it swells, the soul proposes to make known in song
This finest race of conquerors.

These are the men the world foolishly spurned;
Those who follow Your name,
Despise the world as devoid of produce, parched of blooms,
Jesus, worthy King who have come down from heaven.
These men, for Your sake, have trampled on the frenzied
Rages and cruel threats of men, and on their barbaric blows:
The fiercely ripping talon withdrew from them
And did not tear at their entrails.
They are slaughtered with swords like sacrificial lambs:
Not a murmur rings out, not a complaint.
But in their fearless heart, their fine mind, fully conscious,
Maintains its willingness to endure.
What voice, what tongue will be able to unravel
The tributes which You are preparing for martyrs?
For, red with dripping blood, they are garlanded
With splendidly shining laurels.
Highest Deity, One and Only God, we entreat You
That You drive out our guilt, take away our wrongdoings.
May You give peace to Your servants, so that they may sing
Your glory throughout the succession of the years.